October 20, 2016

On October 19, students gathered in the Slowinski Court Room at the Columbus School of Law to attend a panel entitled "Recent Trends and Developments in Wildlife Trafficking," which explored the domestic and international legal developments pertaining to wildlife poaching and trafficking.

The event was presented by CUA's Environmental Law Society & The Endangered Species Committee & International Environmental and Resources Law Committee of the ABA's Section on Environment, Energy, & Resources. It was also an opportunity for students to gain practical networking skills by meeting with current leaders in the field.

Alex Cerussi (3L) introduced panelists Richard G. Ruggiero, Chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of International Conservation; Carson Barylak, Campaign Officer with the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Washington, D.C., office; Lynn Long, Attorney-Advisor for the U.S. Department of Interior Divisions of Parks and Wildlife; and Andrew Schatz, Legal Advisor to Conservation International's Conservation Finance Division.

Holly Wheeler, Attorney-Advisor in the Division of Parks and Wildlife, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior, moderated the event.

The panelists discussed various issues, such as the increase in poaching and smuggling of wildlife, strategies to combat wildlife trafficking, and the various federal statues and treaties that regulate wildlife and wild plants.

Ruggiero specifically discussed the criminal networks that specialize poaching wildlife. "The risk of poachers being caught in many developing countries is very low and the benefit is very high due to the prices of these lucrative commodities," he said.

After the conclusion of the event, panelists took questions from the audience, and students were invited to a reception in the Keelty Atrium for a chance to have informal conversations with the panelists.